January 24, 2015
One of the more puzzling aspects of the years of austerity most of the West has had to endure is why there have not been more protests, and even the odd socialist revolution. Instead, such political consequences as there have been were of a reactionary nature – typically blaming immigrants and “the Establishment”, as with Ukip and France’s Front National, among others.
To an extent, that was also true for a time in Greece, where Golden Dawn was once thought a potent threat to democracy. Now, on the eve of elections, it seems that Greece alone will elect a radically leftist anti-austerity party, with a mandate to end the nation’s “humiliation”, as its leader calls it. The polls suggest that Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza grouping will come to power with a clear mandate to go back to the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund and demand a renegotiation of the austerity package which, ironically enough, Greece has almost completed. This means that Mr Tsipras is going to be taking on Angela Merkel and the Germans. Good luck with that, Alexis.